Sunday, January 16, 2011

Facebook marketing is too important to be left to marketers

Facebook has become an obsession.

The infographic from SocialHype and says it all. 1 in every 13 people on earth uses Facebook. Your local plumber, credit card company, detergent maker, politician and grandmother most likely have presence on Facebook.

Facebook is the new web. It's where things are happening. It's where herds of prospective buyers come for their daily doze of "like".

It's also become a preferred destination for us marketers. We want to be where our customers are. But once you land in Mark's land, what do you do?

At Zend, Facebook has become an incredibly efficient marketing vehicle. We have always looked at Facebook as an integral part of our marketing mix. Some people like talking to us by phone, some by email, and some are happy to communicate with us through Facebook. It's up to us to take a holistic view and integrate all those wonderful tools for optimal results.

Since we launched our Facebook page, the number of users and interactions have been steadily growing. Facebook has become a top 10 referring site to some of our downloads, so it helps feed our funnel. We're seeing more and more online purchases driven by our Facebook page.

Why did Facebook work well for us? Because we kept marketing out of it... sort of.

Facebook opened up the door to a new world of connecting, searching and sharing online, but at the end of the day, it's all about how you as a marketer can add real value to prospects and customers. Sure we do online contests on Facebook, we promote special offers and new product releases, but what made the difference is our focus on truly helping people solve their problems. In our case, we're helping web developers address their technical questions and issues, so they can be successful at what they do for a living.

The person in charge of our Facebook program is one of the best technical guys in our company. He totally gets the questions, the responses, the nuances, and he speaks the same language our customers do. He often posts tips & tricks, how-to online videos and interesting technical posts. He helps them solve their problems. Could a marketer do this? Probably not.

In summary:
  • Use Facebook to help customers solve their problems
  • Integrate Facebook into your marketing mix and programs
  • Measure results and optimize - users, interactions, search, conversions